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Duke Heart Week Ending November 3rd 2019

Chief’s message:

Every week, I spend the Sunday looking to put together the stories of the week with the help of Tracey Koepke who has faithfully captured all the news and updates that faculty and fellows send.  This Sunday ritual provides me time to review and understand the amazing work and promise of our cardiovascular group.  This week the edition is considerably more difficult as a member of our division deals with the unimaginable and sudden loss of family over the last week.  Many have reached out for ways to support and help, and this weekend we saw the entire community come together to support him and his family. With this in mind, I am grateful for the compassion of the Duke Cardiology and Health community.  We will continue to use our collective strength by being present and providing support now, and importantly, in the future to help our colleague as he needs us.


Highlights of the week:

Precision Medicine Update: Durham VAMC

As part of the PHarmacogenomics Action for cancer SuRvivorship (PHASeR) program, the VA launched its first interruptive clinical decision support tools for selected opioid medications this week in the Durham VAMC. These real-time alerts evaluate a patients pharmacogenetic test results when a prescription for codeine or tramadol is initiated. In patients whose genetic profile indicates a higher risk for toxicity or lack of pain relief, these alerts will notify the ordering provider of the nature of the drug-gene interaction and propose alternatives prescriptions. Over the next year, similar alerts for roughly 30 additional medications will be implemented nationwide. The VA PHASeR program, directed by Deepak Voora, launched in 2019 and is a clinical program bringing preemptive pharmacogenetic testing to up to 250,000 Veterans across the VA. To learn more about this great program, check out these videos: https://tinyurl.com/phaser-playlist.


ICYMI: TCTMD Highlights Lowenstern; Katz to Return; Newby Named Medical Director, CICU

Duke Heart fellow Angela Lowenstern was highlighted as TCTMD’s featured fellow on October 18 on their website. Check out the posting below in our Duke Heart in the News section.

Be sure to view our October 28 Pulse post announcing the return of Jason Katz, MD, as well as a new appointment for Kristin Newby. Lots of good things happening across Duke Heart. Thanks for all the great work each of you are doing.

Importantly, thank you for all of the support and care you show to one another not only professionally, but on a personal level throughout the year. This has been greatly needed especially over the past few weeks.


NCYIF 2019: Northwestern Cardiovascular Young Investigator Forum

Eric Peterson, Lauren Truby, Zak Loring and Jordan Pomeroy (pictured here L->R) attended the 15th Annual Northwestern Cardiovascular Young Investigator’s Forum. Held in Chicago from Oct. 31-Nov. 2, the annual forum targets young investigators conducting basic or clinical research on arrhythmias, atherosclerosis, heart failure, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, thrombosis, and valve disease. Dr. Peterson was a faculty judge, Lauren and Zak presented in the Fellow Clinical Research category and Jordan presented in the Fellow Basic Science categories. Nice job and thanks for representing Duke Heart!




Rooney Named Clinical Lead, 7 East, Effective November 11th

Duke Heart is pleased to announce that Amanda Rooney, BSN, RN, PCCN will become Clinical Lead for Duke University Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Stepdown-7 East Unit, effective Monday, November 11. Amanda joined the Duke Heart team in 2013 as a staff nurse on 3300. Amanda was part of our team opening DMP 7 East and has continued to aid in the building of our team as a Unit Preceptor, Charge Nurse, Diabetes Champion, Insulin Safety Committee member, and Unit Scheduling Committee Chair.

Amanda earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University in 2012, a Masters in Health Education and Promotion from East Carolina University in 2008, and Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training from East Carolina University in 2005.

Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Amanda to her new role.


Fall Meeting: Heart Leadership Council

Many thanks to our faculty and fellow presenters who attended the Fall meeting of the Duke Heart Center Leadership Council which took place on Friday, Nov. 1 at the J.B. Duke Hotel. Svati Shah presented an overview of her genetics work and discussed the genetics clinic and the important role it plays for families; Fellows Muath Bishawi, Kevin Friede, G. Titus K. Ngeno, and Zachary Wegermann presented their work pecha kucha style. All presentations were very well received by our Council members and generated great discussion. Thanks to Jillian Ream and the development team for planning the meeting and to the members of Duke Heart Leadership who provided updates to the Council. Note: Gary Davis, one of our Council members is running for public office in S.C. – you can read more about him below in the “News” section.


11th Annual Pulmonary Hypertension Symposium Held

The 11th Annual NC Research Triangle Pulmonary Hypertension Symposium was held on Friday, Nov. 1 at the Durham Convention Center. Lead by course directors Terry Fortin and Jimmy Ford (UNC), and supported by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, this symposium had over 200 registered attendees from the region, as well as more than 100 patients and caregivers who attended a concurrent session designed specifically for them. Keynote speakers were Marc Humbert, MD, PhD, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the South Paris University (Université Paris-Saclay) in Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France who spoke on PH Associated with Myeloproliferative and Hematologic Disorders, and Anna Hemnes, MD, of Vanderbilt, who spoke on Precision Medicine in PAH. Additional presenters from Duke included: Aimee Babiera, Amanda Coniglio, Talal Dahhan, Kishan Parikh, Sudarshan Rajagopal and Rebecca Richard. To see the full symposium agenda, please visit: https://medicine.duke.edu/sites/medicine.duke.edu/files/field/attachments/ph-symposium_web_brochure%5B1%5D.pdf


Euan Ashley Visit

We had a wonderful visit from Euan Ashley, MD, of Stanford. He presented the Williams lecture this past week. Thanks to all who joined us for his presentation, “Towards Precision Medicine.”  The lecture was an amazing walk from the initial description of the Human Genome to the current day full genome sequencing and clinical uses and possible pathways coming.




DUHS Bi-Annual RN Hiring Event

The DUHS Bi-Annual RN Hiring Event was held at the Sheraton Imperial in Durham on October 25. There were more than 200 attendees. Health System nursing leadership team members had the opportunity to interact with both experienced and new candidates interested in employment opportunities at DUHS. Pictured here are members of our Duke Heart nursing leadership team at the event. Thanks for working to recruit more talent our way!!






Duke Heart Holiday Party: Save the Date

Be sure to check your email (especially the “clutter” folder!) for your emailed invitation to the annual Duke Heart holiday party, which will be held December 6th  2019. Invitations were extended to all cardiology and CT surgery faculty, fellows and residents, as well as hospital clinical team leads and higher. Questions? Contact Tracey Koepke, Director of Communications.


Recognition Month: Sonographers

We recognize our sonography team this weekend and apologize for missing Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month, which is held annually in October. The awareness month is a joint effort of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, American Society of Echocardiography, Cardiovascular Credentialing International, Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and Society for Vascular Ultrasound.

There are 48 people on the sonography team in the Duke Heart Cardiac Diagnostic Unit. The CDU sees about 120 patients per day between echocardiograms, vascular ultrasound studies, stress studies, pharmacological studies, TEEs and Echo-guided biopsies. The team also supports guided imagery done in the catheterization lab for mitral clips and other device placements, balloon valvuloplasties, septal defect closures, and HCM ablations. All labs are accredited by the Inter-societal Accreditation Commission.

A high level of competency is required in order to succeed as a team member here at Duke because of the diverse pathology in the cardiovascular cases and our high patient volume. Because of this, each member needs to be able to work accurately and independently as well communicate effectively within the team and with physicians and other providers.

Our sonographers are amazing and we are so very fortunate to have such skilled team members providing this resource to us. Thank you for all that you do!


Upcoming Opportunities/Save the Date:

Coming up: AHA Scientific Sessions!

The annual Duke reception at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions will be held on Saturday, November 16, from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, located conveniently across the street from the conference center. An appointment request was sent by the DCRI planning team. Be sure to look for that and accept to RSVP.


Cardiology Grand Rounds

This week we have two great opportunities to hear the latest in cardiology research. First, we welcome Renato Lopes who is presenting “AF and PCI: Triple Trouble? Double Therapy? Where do we stand in 2019.” Please join us on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m., DN, 2003.

On Friday (Nov. 8), we welcome Kim Eagle, Director of the Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan. He’s presenting the Eugene A. Stead Jr., MD, Lecture as part of Medicine Grand Rounds at 8 a.m. in the Trent Semans Great Hall. Title of his talk is, “Cardiac Risk of Non-Cardiac Surgery: A Piece of my Mind.”

Upcoming Grand Rounds:

  • November 12: Javed Butler, University of Mississippi
  • November 19: Faculty Staff Meeting
  • November 26: No Grand Rounds. Happy Thanksgiving!
  • December 3: Zach Wegermann
  • December 10: (5 p.m.) Heart Center Grand Rounds on CTEPH
  • December 17: (5 p.m.) Faculty Staff Meeting
  • December 24: No Grand Rounds. Happy Holidays!
  • December 31: No Grand Rounds. Happy Holidays!

Talent from All Corners Symposium, Nov. 4

Tomorrow! Panel discussion, Talent from all corners: how immigration helps shape American scientific leadership. A group of prominent and highly promising scientists, led by Duke cardiologist and Nobel Laureate Professor Robert Lefkowitz, will share their own stories as first, second, or third-generation immigrants, their research and its significance, and their perspective on immigration and its role in shaping American scientific leadership. 3-6 p.m., Searle Center. Registration required. Refreshments will be served. To learn more or to register, please visit: https://scienceandsociety.duke.edu/events/talent-from-all-corners-how-immigration-helps-shape-scientific-leadership/

Duke Heart Safe Choices, Nov. 6 – Cancelled

The Duke Heart Safe Choices workshop that was scheduled for this week has been cancelled. Please contact Christy Darnell with questions.

Have news to share?

If you have news to share with the Pulse readership, please contact Tracey Koepke, director of communications for Duke Heart at tracey.koepke@duke.edu. We would love to hear about your latest accomplishments, professional news, cool happenings, and any events or opportunities that may be of interest to our Duke Heart family. Please call with any questions: 919-681-2868. Feedback on Pulse is welcome and encouraged.

Duke Heart in the News:

October 18 – Angela Lowenstern

TCTMD/the heart beat

Featured Fellow: Angela Lowenstern, MD


October 29 — Gary Davis (Heart Leadership Council Member)

The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)

Editorial: Endorsements in Tuesday’s Mount Pleasant Town Council elections



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